I have been thinking about posting a recipe for this particular pie for a long time now. One of the Żubrek’s first favourites, simple summer pie with cherries and almonds. Make sure to use sour cherries (prunus cerasus) though, this pie is all about the clash of sweet, delicate almonds and sour, bold cherry flavour.
CHERRY AND ALMOND PIE
for the pastry
225g good quality wheat flour
60g icing sugar
1/2tsp baking powder
150g cold butter
2 egg yolks
1tsp almond extract
for the filling
600g cherries (fresh or frozen)
50g light muscovado sugar
2tbsp potato starch
for the crumble
50g ground almonds
50g light muscovado sugar
90g melted butter, slightly chilled
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Mix the flour with icing sugar and baking powder on your pastry board. Add cold butter and chop it with a knife, until the pieces of butter are small and mixed in with the butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and almond extract, and quickly knead the dough. Wrap the pastry in cling film and put in the fridge for about an hour.
2. After that time, roll out the dough and place it in the previously buttered tart/quiche dish, covering the bottom and sides of it with rolled out pastry. Pierce the bottom of the pie with a fork. To keep the bottom of the pie flat while baking, we need to press it with baking beans. To do so, cover the bottom of your pie with baking parchment and add the beans. Bake for about 12-15 minutes in 180 degrees.
3. To make the filling, wash the cherries, dry them with a kitchen towel and remove the stones. Place the cherries in a bowl and add sugar. Leave for about 5-10 minutes, they should release the juice.
4. Add the cherries together with the juice to the small saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain the cherries using a strainer over a bowl, reserving the cherry juice. In the separate bowl/mug mix 3-4 tablespoons of the cherry juice with potato starch, getting rid of any lumps. In the small saucepan, boil again the cherries together with the juice. When cherries start to simmer, add the mixture of cherry juice and potato starch. I always pour it over a small strainer, to make sure there is no lumps. The mixture will instantly become thicker (potato starch’s job), it’s best to take the saucepan off the heat when adding the juice and starch thickening mixture. Keep stirring, rather vigorously, to stop the mixture from turning into a lumpy goo. Bring the filling to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiled, take off the heat and set aside to cool.
5. Prepare the crumble. Melt the butter. Add the flour, sugar and ground almonds to the pastry board, mix it together. Start pouring slightly chilled melted butter over the mixture, pouring with one hand and mixing about with another hand.
6. Spread the cherry filling on the previously blind-baked pie crust, sprinkle it pie with the crumble and bake for 20-25 minutes in 180 degrees Celsius.